From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra: What's in a name

Young 'Yogi'    (Public Domain)
Way before yoga became an American national pastime, “Lawdie” Berra (who was raised as a Roman Catholic) was dubbed “Yogi” by a friend.

Now the name “Lawdie” was unusual enough.  His parents, immigrants from Italy, had actually named him “Lawrence” or “Larry.”  These American names were somewhat difficult to pronounce at first, so his mother called him “Lawdie.”

When Berra was playing in the local American Legion baseball leagues, he met a fellow St. Louis resident named Robert George Hofman.  Robert, who had the nickname “Bobby,” decided that his friend needed one also.

According to Wikipedia, Hofman had noticed that Berra tended to sit with “arms and legs crossed waiting to bat or while looking sad after losing a game.”  Hofman therefore said that Berra “resembled a Hindu yogi.”

The name stuck, although Berra’s sayings more often resembled those of a Zen monk.


Copyright September 23, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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